The Marinette and Menominee Amateur Radio Club
      GROUND WAVE

Repeater Frequencies 147.00 MHZ & 444.075 Mhz
Club Net: Sunday 7PM 147.00 MHz
Simplex DX Spotting and Ragchew Frequency 146.55
Web Page:  http://w8pif.com
                   Officers
                   President: Dave Cunningham, NS9R
                     Vice President: Dwight Bosselman, W9YQ
Treasurer: Tom Rynish N8LHB
Secretary: Jim Callow K8IR

The MMARC Newsletter                                             January 2004

JANUARY MEETING…

The January meeting of the M&M Amateur Radio Club will be held on Thursday January 8th at 7pm in the meeting room at the Spies Public Library in Menominee.  A presentation on Traffic Handling will be given.  We hope you will be able to attend.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Now is a great time to reflect on the past, enjoy the present and plan for the future. Past M&M ARC meetings have primarily been focused on conducting club business, planning fish fries and talking about the repeater (repeatedlyJ). In my opinion the fun and excitement amateur radio has to offer wasn’t in abundance. I decided to run for president and put my efforts into changing what I perceived as missing from the club. The purpose of our club is stated in our by-law’s:

The objects of this club are the promotion of interest in amateur radio communication and experimentation, the relaying of messages by radio without charge, the furtherance of the public welfare, the advancement of the radio art, the representation of the radio amateur in legislative affairs, the maintenance of fraternalism and a high standard of conduct among its members, and the promotion of such other activities as are allied thereto.

I will keep this vision in mind as we move into 2004. Beginning at the January 8th meeting our club will have a presentation on an aspect of amateur radio of interest to members of our club. Our January meeting will focus on traffic handling and upcoming months will feature: computer antenna modeling, APRS, repeater systems, DX’ing, contesting, proper station grounding, soldering techniques, antenna construction, Echo-Link demonstration, new digital modes, emergency power backup, computer logging, etc. the list goes on and on. Each month a different component of amateur radio will be featured provided club members participate and share their knowledge. I encourage the home brewer segment of our group to bring in their creations to share with the rest of the club. There will be time at the end of the evening’s presentation for “show and tell” on your project. We have talented club members we can all learn from.

 Have a happy and safe new year and I hope to see you at our January meeting.

 73 and HNY

de ns9r

 

ABRAMS-WAUSAUKEE LINK SYSTEM NOW UP…

The 146.835-146.880 linked system became operational on January 30th.  Some modifications still need to be completed, but the moment finally arrived and the link became a reality, with satisfactory results.

Stations ranging from the northern part of Marinette county to Manitowoc were heard with good signals.

Thanks to Bill, WA8WG and Earl, KB9DSV for their long hours in setting up the system, and personal commitments in seeing it through to completion. 

For reference, the frequencies are: 

146.835 Abrams (pl of 107.2) encode/decode.

146.880 Wausaukee (pl of 136.5) encode/decode

 

ARES/RACES NET SUMMARY FOR 2003…

This past year saw the formation of an ARES/Races group within Marinette and Oconto Counties, along with several  members from Menominee County (MI) and Kewaunee County The first weekly readiness net was held on June 2 with KE9S as net control.  Nets have been held weekly over the 146.835 Abrams repeater, with calls on the 147.000 and 145.470 repeaters, to allow those who do not have reliable access to the 146.835, an opportunity to participate.   Since early November, the 145.470 repeater has been dropped and replaced by the 146.880 Wausaukee repeater.   With the linked Abrams-Wausaukee system operational, the entire net will take place on that system. 

Response has been very good since the inception of the net.....an average weekly count of 13 check-ins, with a high of 18 and no check in count of less than 9.   It appears the ARES/RACES program has good support , and can be counted on in event of any area-wide situation requiring our communications assistance.   

Net control responsibilities have been shared by a number of members....among them:  KE9S, NS9R, K8IR, KG8CX, KB9DSV, KG9AD, KG9GH, KA9WAR. 

Jeff, KE9S, is the ARES/RACES coordinator for Marinette and Oconto counties.

 

HAM CLASSES CONTINUE…

The weekly classes sponsored by our club are now in their final month.  Seven students are participating in their attempt to become Technician class operators.  Classes are held on the second floor of the Stephenson Public Library in Marinette each Sat. morning from 10am to noon. 

Instructors involved in various sessions of the class include:  WC9E, K8IR, WA8WG, W9YQ, AA9GZ, KG8CX, and K8RJ.  WC9E serves as coordinator of Instruction.  Instructor nets are held on Mondays preceding each class at 7:30pm, on the 146.880 Wausaukee repeater.  AA9GZ and W9YQ are serving as CW instructors on an alternate basis. 

Our January 3rd session covered repeaters, station layout, SWR, and feedlines.

Future sessions include:

January 10th: Shack visit at WC9E, including an antenna field trip and HF contacts.  Then, coffee and donuts, while discussing practical antennas and chapter 3: Propagation

January 17th: Chapter 1: FCC Rules

January 24th:  Chapter 10: Electrical and RF Safety

VE testing is tentatively scheduled for Saturday January 31st at the library. You do not have to be a member of the class to test at this session, but pre-registration is requested.

Pictures of some sessions can be viewed on the club website http://w8pif.com

All are welcome to stop by and observe.

By KG8CX and WC9E

 

ARLB071 FCC announces new Universal Licensing System interface

The FCC on December 14 unveiled a new on-line filing interface for its Universal Licensing System (ULS), on the web at, http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls, which includes the Amateur Service.

Among other features, the ULS's new look will include easier-to-read on-screen forms that guide users through filing and simplify such routine tasks as applying for license renewal, address change or vanity call sign. The FCC says the introduction of its new system, called "ULS License Manager," concludes phase one of an ongoing ULS overhaul by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

ULS License Manager will be compatible with most major Web browsers and computer platforms and no longer will require downloading Java and Java Script files. An FCC staffer involved with implementing ULS
License Manager notes that all features may not be in place when the system debuts.

The ULS will require all filers to log into the system using an FCC Registration Number (FRN) and Commission Registration System (CORES) password. Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs) no longer will be accepted for log-in purposes, the FCC said.

Once the new system is up and running, all licenses and applications in the ULS database will be converted to the new ULS License Manager filing environment.

There's also a new paper version of FCC Form 605, dated December 2003. One change is that Form 605 no longer requests a date of birth and will only accept an FRN and CORES password. There are no Amateur Service-related changes to any Form 605 schedules. The FCC says Amateur Service applicants may continue to use the March 2001 (or later) edition of Form 605, although it encourages use of the newest version. The new FCC Form 605 now is available via the FCC Web site at, http://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form605/605.html.

 
ULS licensing support and forms information is available weekdays (except holidays) from 8 AM until 5:30 PM Eastern Time via e-mail at ulshelp@fcc.gov, or telephone 888-CALLFCC (225-5322), Option 2 (users also may call 717-338-2888).

  

BPL UPDATE (EDITED FROM THE ARRL LETTER)…

Two organizations have filed comments with the FCC that augment previously expressed worries about potential interference from and to Broadband over Power Line (BPL) systems. Picking up on the "grave concerns" the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) <http://www.fema.gov> expressed over BPL December 4, the nonprofit Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response Association (DERA) <http://www.disasters.org> called on the FCC to require impartial BPL field testing as well as additional public comment and full and open public hearings.

"DERA concludes that serious interference to and disruption of critical emergency communications systems in several licensed services throughout North America would almost certainly result from BPL implementation as
currently proposed," DERA said.

Meanwhile, the Amateur Radio Research and Development Corporation (AMRAD) has filed additional test data with the FCC to support preliminary findings suggesting that BPL systems are susceptible to interference from even modest Amateur Radio HF signals.


"At least an area out to a radius of 0.51 miles from the transmitting station could have their Internet connection interrupted," AMRAD said. "Closer-in homes would almost certainly have their Internet service interrupted."  For its RF susceptibility experiment, AMRAD used the Potomac Electric Power Company system test site. It features a mid-1960s vintage home with unshielded interior electrical wiring and overhead power lines.

AMRAD found that at a distance of just over one-half mile, data transfer ceased in the face of a 100-W signal on 3980 kHz from a mobile transmitter. Adjacent to the test property, AMRAD said data transfer ceased in all but one instance at a transmitter power of just 4 W in the BPL operating band of from 4 to 21 MHz.


The ARRL hopes to complete an independent BPL engineering study early this year. It will explore how BPL might affect HF and low-VHF amateur operation as well as how Amateur Radio operation could affect BPL systems.

Additional information about BPL and Amateur Radio is on the ARRL Web site

A BPL TALE OF TWO CITIES (EDITED FROM THE ARRL LETTER)…

The city council in Lompoc, California, a community of some 42,000--opted December 16 to go with a wireless and
fiber optic cable-based broadband network, rejecting BPL and other possible options. ARRL Santa Barbara Section Technical Coordinator Paul Andreasen, K1JAN, said he and other members of the local Amateur Radio
community lobbied hard to ensure that Lompoc would not pick BPL.

The report from the city’s consultants, McKibben Consulting noted the "ongoing controversy" about BPL and cited a 2003 British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) study that, McKibben said, "made it clear that there is very good reason to be concerned about RF interference." The consultant concluded that BPL's advantages failed to outweigh its disadvantages.

The Washington, DC, suburb of Manassas, Virginia, meanwhile, indicates it will go ahead this month with plans to inaugurate BPL service in four subdivisions--a total of some 2100 homes. Manassas--with a population of
nearly 35,000--hopes to be the first community in the US to deploy BPL citywide.

Amateurs in the Manassas vicinity have pointed to FEMA's "grave concerns" that BPL could interfere with HF communications systems critical to national security and public safety.

City officials seem unimpressed. "Nobody has proven it's a problem," City Councilman Ulysses X. White told Potomac News.  "If it is a problem, then we re-evaluate it. There's no reason not to go forward with it." The same article quotes City Utilities Director Allen Todd, W4VUB, as saying that the city will monitor the system and rectify any problems that crop up. No field testing for RF interference took place during the system's pilot program.


MORE HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Your editor came across this timely greeting on the internet…

My wishes to for all of you for 2004:

May the Morse always flow like music in your ears and be a tonic for your brain.
May all your QSO's be 599
May your antennas never freeze.
May you finally get that last country, province, prefix, county or state that you need for whatever award you're chasing.
May your solder always flow easy and true.
May your troubleshooting problems always be minor and easy.
May that screw, washer, nut, spring or SMD device never leave your hands at the wrong time and disappear into the twilight zone forever!

But most important of all, best wishes for a happy and healthy 2004 - for you and your families.  Godspeed and a "hurry home" for those who are away or will be going away to serve with the Armed Forces.


73 de Larry W2LJ